Jean Paul Cokre

Too many hours on the Coker can lead my mind down many philosophical paths, especially when the 125 mm cranks put many real paths out of bounds.

For example: this forum raises epistemological questions - questions about the nature of knowledge, and what we can actually know. How do any of you know that I exist at all? If indeed, any of you exist… Clearly someone is writing this, unless you’re imagining reading it, but how do you know I really have done the rides that I’ve written up over the last year or two? A few of you (Unicus, Onewheeldave, Arnold the Aardvark, and a few others) have met me, but have you met them? And they never saw me do the rides.

But there’s more to philosophy than the old 6th form question, “Ah, but how do you know this is a table/ I owe you a beer/ I won’t respect you in the morning?” Read on:

If we are to believe Plato, Socrates believed that virtue was a kind of knowledge. He argued that no man would knowingly do something wrong. Therefore, if a man did something wrong, it was because he was deficient in the knowledge of what was right. A modern comparison can be made with my ex wife who argued that no man could do anything right, knowingly or otherwise.

Of course, Socrates’ theory leaves open the question of how something can be objectively right or wrong; and if it is, how can we know?

Sartre (a particularly contemplative cheese eating surrender monkey) looked at the argument in a different way. He believed that each man did what he thought was justified in the circumstances. Man is a rationalising animal (rather than a rational animal) and can come up with a superficially valid justification for almost anything. It is never possible to know exactly how someone reaches a decision, because our motives are multi-layered (c.f. Shrek: “Ogres are like onions”) and sometimes hidden even from ourselves, so we can only judge a man by what he decides, and we can only tell what he decides by what he actually does.

This contrasts with Milligan’s concept of the hero with coward’s legs.

So, here’s me riding around the big lake this evening. It’s been a bad day at work (maintaining an unbroken record of bad days at work over 22 years) and the beautiful weather which grinned maliciously in through the office window all day became a scowling brat of rain and chill winds by the time I left. Uninspired, I decide simply to get some miles in… and perhaps to do the 25 miles without a dismount.

I make it to the lake without incident, except that the path is blocked with deep puddles in many places and, try as I might, I can’t avoid getting a soaking. A Coker wheel in a puddle is like a water wheel in reverse, the water extracting the energy from the wheel as it is thrown up into the millstream of the rider’s backside.

Onto the lake side, and I make the first lap in pretty good time; Part way round the second lap (each lap is around 3 miles) I’m in my stride, but starting to feel the pressure on the seat. By the start of the third lap, my legs are starting to feel the strain. I’ve been “in the zone” and pedalling a little faster than I should.

So, the existentialism starts to bite in lap three. The internal dialogue starts:
You don’t have to do this.
No, but I can’t stop now.
Why not?
Because…
Because what?
You’ve done about 10 miles. It would be a pity to waste that.
Yes, but that means I’ve as far to go again - and then some.
You know you can do it.
So, if I know, why do I have to prove it?
It’s a challenge.
A pretty pointless one.
Yes, but all unicycling is pointless.
Look, this is one of those cases where I have to grit my teeth and push on. I’m bound to have a low point in a long ride.
But why have a low point when you’re only doing it for fun.
But the fun comes from the achievement.
Pretty daft sort of fun. If I didn’t have these short cranks on, I could be achieving some obstacles, instead of just an arbitrary number.
But you’ve set a challenge, you can’t wimp out now.
But I have to bear in mind the effects. I’ll be fencing for 3 hours tomorrow,
And?
And I am 41 you know.
You’ve read your Sartre. You are what you decide. Are you going to decide to stop?
Ha! Am I going to decide to carry on, just because I daren’t decide not to?

At this point, I notice my feet are cold, because I’ve splashed through far too many puddles, and it’s blowing a chill wind. Motorcyclists have a horror of cold feet. Once they go cold, they take a lot of warming up.

Existentially, I’m now a certified wimp. I didn’t do the 25 miles, or even the 20… or the 15…

And, to serve me right, it looks like my computer’s lost the “score” for the ride. I know I stopped at 11.7 miles after 1:12, so I guess I did about 12.5 miles in around 1:20. Not a bad ride, but I really wasn’t up for it tonight.

Re: Jean Paul Cokre

Mikefule pondered:
> How do
> any of you know that I exist at all? If indeed, any of you exist…
> Clearly someone is writing this, unless you’re imagining reading it,

Or you are a fine example of a Turing machine.

> A few of you (Unicus, Onewheeldave, Arnold the
> Aardvark, and a few others) have met me, but have you met them? And
> they never saw me do the rides.

I know Arnold (and quite possibly the others, although not by their
pseudonyms). But curiously you’ve never come up in conversation.
Perhaps you really don’t exist.

> A modern comparison can be made
> with my ex wife who argued that no man could do anything right,
> knowingly or otherwise.

Which leads to the age old question: “If a man says something and no
woman is around to hear him, is he still wrong?” Both my mother and my
wife have informed me that the answer is unequivocally “Yes.”

> I make it to the lake without incident, except that the path is blocked
> with deep puddles in many places and, try as I might, I can’t avoid
> getting a soaking. A Coker wheel in a puddle is like a water wheel in
> reverse, the water extracting the energy from the wheel as it is thrown
> up into the millstream of the rider’s backside.

You need a mudguard, mate. An imaginary one should do :wink:


Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
<url:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” - Thomas Paine

Some questions to ponder:

How do you know you did a ride today?

Did you have fun?

If everything is so flexible, how do you know you only rode as many miles as you did? Maybe it was many more?

Re: Jean Paul Cokre

If you think about it long enough, you will begin to believe only “thoughts” exist. Time is the movement of thought. Distance is impossible to prove.

Yes, but all unicycling is pointless.
I am glad “someone else” had this thought process while riding :smiley:

Existentially, I’m now a certified wimp. I didn’t do the 25 miles, or even the 20… or the 15…
Don’t think of it that way, especially because “we all” know that you will attempt the 25 UPDless ride again later.

And, to serve me right, it looks like my computer’s lost the “score”
[/QUOTE]

I hate when that happens. Miles on a unicycle are too hard-earned for me to be comfortable with the computer ignoring revolutions.
Another thought I have had:
Is the first revolution counted?
If not, how much farther have I gone? (I often mount 200+ times per day)

If you are a wimp for only doing 12 miles. what am I for not even thinking of doing 12 miles! :astonished: I have done 6 miles on a 20".:smiley: Or have I? :thinking:

Re: Jean Paul Cokre

I beg to differ! There are a lot of fine points to unicycling!

There is the very serious point at the center of gravity, and it’s equally comedic counterpart, the balance point. And, every drama teacher is fond of saying, comedy is close to tragedy, which explains why the dreaded “Point of No Return” is such an important part of unicycling.

Mathematically speaking, a circle is an infinite collection of points all equidistant from the central point of the matter, which is conveniently located at the center of the wheel. Which matters! Unless you are weightless. Or a square. Or tacoed.

And what about the turning point? How can it be that, wherever you are on a unicycle, you are always at a turning point? Does it follow you around like a twisted little dog, or is it an intrinsic property of all round objects in contact?

Which brings me back to the matter of tacos.

I’ve done my Coker riding for the evening and now it’s time to forage for dinner. A beer and some tacos sound pretty good at the moment. Which is, I suppose, the whole point of getting out in the fresh air for excercise.

If it wern’t for the unicycles, tacos and beer, life really would be a pointless excercise.

Tim

Re: Jean Paul Cokre

Mikefule wrote:

“Too many hours on the Coker…many philosophical paths…”

Mikefule-- Thanks for sharing your musings about the process of
wrenching a wee bit of meaning from the abyss of your meaningless
existence! I genuinely enjoyed reading your existential ponderings.
:wink: --carl (Grand Forks, ND)

The two achievements are pretty comparable. Depending on a number of variables such as the length of your cranks, I’d say 6 miles on a 20 is worth 12 on a Coker. A Coker’s wheel is slightly less than twice as big as a 20, but the smoother action makes it a better distance machine. A big wheel for distance or sustained speed, every time.

I speak as one who knows. I once did 20 miles in a day on a 20, and I’ve done the “mile per inch” on a 24, 28 and 36.

A Coker is a unicycle with a 36 inch diameter wheel. It gets its name from the tyre, made by the Coker Tire Company.

The 36 inch wheel makes it a fantastic machine for riding on rough trails and cross country. With a standard wheel, it’s not strong enough for really tough MUni (mountain unicycling), but many people have custome Cokers with lightweight aerofoil rims and wider stronger hubs.

As a road machine, a Coker in standard trim (150 mm (6 inch) cranks) is good for speeds of up to around 15 MPH, maybe more. A good Cokerist can easily average 10 mph for a couple of hours at a time.

The Coker is the largest pneumatic-tyred unicycle available. Anything bigger has to have a solid rubber tyre, which makes for a less comfortable ride.

Out of stock in UK, but here’s the link.

http://www.unicycle.uk.com/shop/shopdisplayproduct.asp?catalogid=78

Re: Jean Paul Cokre

the things u find when u do a search for Plato
:wink:

Mike, this internal dialogue sound remarkably like me quitting smoking :astonished:

would that be sabre, foil or proper fencing?

Are you quitting at the moment? Do you have any handy hints? The time has come for me to rid myself of the black lung…I quit for a bit last year when I was in the alps for a bit. But I’m finding it somewhat harder here in dreary Macclesfield. I’m going to go to the doctors though and see if I can get me some free nicotine patches from the good old NHS. Aaah, free nicotine…That’s what it’s all about.

Kit

My advice is to get a copy of Allen Carrs ‘Easy Way to Give up Smoking’; read it and do exactly what it says.

I’ve quit for over four years now, and will never smoke again.

The book may seem dogmatic (I remember it did to me when I read it as a smoker), but looking at it through the eyes of a successful quitter, I can tell you that everything in it makes sense.

Best of luck.

Re: Jean Paul Cokre

cold feet alone is a good reason to stop.

This morning I just did my longest rise yet. 12 miles. I’m glad that you feel a wimp for doing such a distance, and one day I hope to feel the same! I would do a write-up, but it was an uneventful ride. maybe next week.

If you feel like doing it, do it. If you don’t feel like it, then don’t (it could be riding, cleaning, a trip, whatever) I know sometimes there’s a choice.

It’s like that old one of “Why do you climb mountains?” answer:“because they’re there”.

If one thought too much about it, one may come to the logical conclusion that we’re only here to keep the human race going. The population’s high enough just about everywhere, so we’re surplus to requirements…

Wow, talk about a late revival. This thread’s about 5 months old.

Someone asked about the fencing. It’s foil, and only foil. I haven’t tried the “novelty weapons” yet. ;0)

what would be really funny and embarrasing is if someone thought it was new and wrote a philosophical reply…

Re: Re: Jean Paul Cokre

This statement contains an unjustified teleological assumption. Also, why “too much”, rather than “exactly the right amount”? “Too much” is implicitly defined as “exactly enough”. And is it a logical conclusion, or a rational conclusion, or only an internally consistent worldview?:stuck_out_tongue:

Re: Jean Paul Cokre

Concentrate and type again…

Unicycling devagations…

Due to my various limitations I philosophized ,a bit, why I am doing this apparently usless job of uniing not being able even to aspire to the astral performance of THE MOST.
And once I have concluded…
UNICYCLING , for me, is the attempt of keeping balance between stilnes and motion.It is constant attempting and never achieving.
It is rehersing perfect MINIATURE OF LIVING…I am still thrilled with
living…So I put myselve, consciously, into this GAME of LIFE and STILNES…avoiding stilnes at all cost:D .
Fun!
Uniwitold.

yeah, sorry, all my fault

i posted a piece about Plato’s comments about debating on one of the political threads over in JC and womndered if Plato’s ever been mentioned on the forum so i did a quick search and this was one of the search results
a thread with this title penned by your good self was simply more than this mere mortal could withstand so i had to have a quick peek as i seem ot have missed it first time around

i’m 3 days away from 4 months
that’s a quarter year
it’s not like i’m counting or anything
:wink:
handy hints?
quitting is easy, staying quit is the bitch

turn the negative into a positve
don’t quit
rather become a non-smoker
change the (negative) denial into a (positive) achievement

i’ve found it helpfull to go on a bit of a health-trip
cut out coffee, rather drink hot water with freshly squeezed lemon when u would normally have had a cup of coffee
cut out the alcohol for a while
u’ll feel a lot better and help avoid situations where u would’ve had a cigarette in the past
lose the red meat and have loads of salads and steamed fish and fresh fruit and raw veggies

spend your cigarette-money on yourself
non-negotiably
don’t put it into your mortgage (alltho this would be ‘best-advice’, financially speaking), spend it on yourself
go and buy however many CD’s u can get for the amount u spent on cigarettes and go buy them as soon as u get paid
invest it in some short- to medium term investement vehicle
in 3-5 years your cig-money could grow to a nice lil chunk and u can buy yourself a decent sound system for your house, or a couple of killer unis or send your kid to college or put down a nice deposit on a car
just don’t let that money kinda filter back into your day-to-day expenditure
keep it seperate and spend it on u

and go and smell a smoker after they’ve had a cig every so often
that stink’s got to be the best way to ‘stay quit’